The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. Bernard G. SkomalU.S. Magistrate Judge United States District Court
ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR AND APPOINTING PRO BONO COUNSEL PURSUANT TO 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(1) (ECF No. 21)
In this civil rights action, filed pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, Plaintiff, a prisoner proceeding in pro se and currently incarcerated at Kern Valley State Prison in Delano, California, was granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a) on January 11, 2011 (ECF No. 3). Defendants filed an Answer on April 25, 2011 (ECF No. 9).
On February 6, 2012, after the close of discovery, Plaintiff filed a Motion for Appointment of Counsel (ECF No. 21). While there is no right to counsel in a civil action, a court may under "exceptional circumstances" exercise its discretion and "request an attorney to represent any person unable to afford counsel." 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(1); Palmer v. Valdez, 560 F.3d 965, 970 (9th Cir. 2009). The court must consider both "'the likelihood of success on the merits as well as the ability of the [Plaintiff] to articulate his claims pro se in light of the complexity of the legal issues involved.'" Id. (quoting Weygandt v. Look, 718 F.2d 952, 954 (9th Cir. 1983)).
Applying these standards, the Court has found this case suitable for pro bono representation pursuant to General Order 596, which adopted a Plan for the Representation of Pro Bono Litigation in Civil Case filed in the Southern District of California. Thus, pursuant to both 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(1) and General Order 596, the Court has randomly selected a volunteer attorney from the Court's Pro Bono Panel to represent Plaintiff during the course of all further proceedings before this Court. See S.D. Cal. General Order No. 596.
Accordingly, Plaintiff's Motion for Appointment of Counsel (ECF No. 21) is GRANTED. The Court hereby APPOINTS Ellen N. Adler, of Morrison & Foerster, LLP, 12531 High Bluff Drive, Suite 100, San Diego, California, 92130, as Pro Bono Counsel for Plaintiff.
Pursuant to S.D. CAL. CIVLR 83.3(g)(2), Pro Bono Counsel shall file, within fourteen (14) days of this Order, a formal written Notice of Substitution of Attorney signed by both Plaintiff and his newly appointed counsel. Such substitution shall be considered approved by the Court upon filing, and Pro Bono Counsel shall thereafter be considered attorney of record for Plaintiff for all purposes during further proceedings before this Court. See S.D. CAL. CIVLR 83.3(g)(1), (2).
The Court further DIRECTS the Clerk of the Court to serve Ms. Adler with a copy of this Order at the address listed above upon filing. See S.D. CAL. CIVLR 83.3(f)(2).
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